Mark Terry

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Spinning Compass

September 17, 2008
You've probably seen them, if not in real life, in a movie or TV show--a compass that won't settle down, that won't land on north, that instead spins and spins... indicating that, yes, folks, you're lost.

In terms of fiction, I have felt like that since Midnight Ink told me they would not be publishing the remaining Derek Stillwater novels on the contract.

I've been flailing around a bit since. I finished a manuscript of a kids' novel since then, but haven't really done anything with it. Didn't show it to my agent, just ... sort ... of ... floated ... along.

Tried to finish other things. Get started on things. The only thing that really took off for me is another kids' novel, currently in progress, called Monster Seeker.

Then yesterday, for reasons not completely understood, but I think which are partly related to seeing that Tim Maleeny, also another Midnight Ink orphan, had gotten his next novel in his series picked up by Poison Pen Press, and I'm working on a piece for ITW about Allison Brennan, so I got my interview questions back from her yesterday and I thought she had really interesting things to say...

So I got back with my agent and told her it was time to try a couple places to see if we can sell the next Derek Stillwater novel (Angels Falling). There aren't many places to try, but let's try them anyway. And she's reading The Fortress of Diamonds now. And I'm still working on Monster Seeker. And I decided, okay, you've got 200 pages written of China Fire, you need about 200 more. If you write 2 pages a day, no matter how shitty you think it might be, you'll have a rough draft by the end of the year. Like the Nike commercials, Just Do It!

And when I started writing those 2 pages yesterday they extended to 3 because I started getting back into the story.

Hopefully I've staggered my way out of this maze, at least for a while, and my compass is pointing toward north again. (Although, I can't get Captain Jack Sparrow and his compass--"There is nothing wrong with my compass!"--out of my head. And if you don't know, aside from the double entendre, Jack's compass doesn't point north because he's not looking for north. It points at what your heart most desires).

In the interim I put a lot of my energy back into nonfiction. And I still will. But hopefully I've put this fiction nonsense back into perspective again and can enjoy the process of writing and the potential of publication without getting too wrapped up in the business and financial end of fiction.


I'm totally full of crap.

Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

YES! China Fire!

*big grins*


I totally pumped my fist in the air at this news! I am SO rooting for you.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Hi Mark:
I get lost often, too. And it always feels fabulous to find Treu North again.

7:39 AM  
Blogger MissWrite said...

We're writers, we're all full of crap, but we do it with style. :)

Glad to hear Captain 'Mark' is back on his own true heading.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Finish those books...please! You'll land at a house that's passionate about thrillers, mark my words...

7:39 PM  

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